09 June 2014

Ghost Ships

You know when you wake up early on the sunday you can sleep in?
Laying there tossing and turning.
The wife's grumbling cause the beds squeaking.
Then you get up.
Try to be helpful and clean a little.
The creaky floor and the clanking dishes
don't help the situation.
The kids are all zonked out too.
No partners to do a morning swap meet scrounge.
Time for a bike ride.
The couple mile ride to the point can be quick,
with enough hills to make it a good workout.
It had been a while,
a long while since the last ride.
That means slow and steady. 
Sure I passed a guy on a mountain bike.
Going fast more focus is spent on the street.
Little potholes and cracks eat up skinny tires.
The slower pace is different.
It's not important to keep up with the 5 older women with the bright pink outfits
and carbon fiber frames.
It's also not about keeping track of time.
A 45 minute ride can be done in an hour.
After stints in World War II and the Korean War...
stints meaning fixing crashed fighter planes,
rescuing shot pilots,
being hunted by enemy submarines, planes and destroyers...
my grandfather finished his time in this shop.
Here they built these model ships,
for use in perfecting the radar or sonar capabilities.
Under that framework is a large water test tank.
These models were scaled down versions of real ships,
and before computers they practiced real simulations.
One of my earlier memories was visiting this spot.
Papa was retired,
but he'd still go shoot the shit with his old buddies.
I can remember sitting at that table eating lunch.
Back then I didn't appreciate the level of detail.
Now as a metalworker these amaze me.
There are a few models all polished up,
under glass cases in various offices.
Fortunately these are still on outside display for now.
I can feel the same connection coming here then to his gravesite!

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